A fancy dress company has apologised and withdrawn an Anne Frank Halloween outfit, following criticism from figures in the UK Jewish community.
HalloweenCostumes.com has removed the controversial product and apologised for any offence caused, saying it was “never our intention” to upset people.
The outfit, sold as an ‘Anne Frank Halloween costume’, features a dress, destination bag and a beret. Other outlets have been selling it under a different name, which doesn’t specifically reference the famous teenage diarist, murdered by the Nazis.
Reacting to this, Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust commented: “Why would anyone want to ‘dress up’ as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween? It is utterly inappropriate, offensive and quite simply beggars belief. The Holocaust is not a joke – this company needs to have a serious rethink.”
Laura Marks, founding chair of Mitzvah Day took to Twitter to say: “There is nothing funny about the Holocaust or indeed, any genocide. Some fancy dress simply not OK and can only deeply offend”
Cathy Ashley, the ex chief of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) added: “This company @funcostumes needs to understand why Holocaust victims aren’t a profit-making figure of fun for Halloween. Or shame them to act”
A spokesperson for the company took to Twitter to apologise. ‘Ross spooky Smith’ said: “We take feedback from customers very seriously. We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume and it has been removed from the website at this time. We apologise for any offense caused, as that’s never our intention.
The outfit previously appeared on Ebay in 2015, marketed as a ‘1940s World War II Girls Period Anne Frank Fancy Dress Costume.’